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The news over the last few weeks was punctuated by large office sales, or near sales. JP Morgan sold a prime office tower in Denver for $135 million. A $72-million asset has traded in Clarendon, VA; and a large Manhattan office property is close to changing hands. So has all of that money waiting for deals come off the sidelines? According to last week’s GlobeSt.com Quick Poll asking that question, 66% of respondents think so, while the rest think it’s an aberration. Robert Sammons, director of research at Colliers ABR agrees with the majority and thinks we might be getting close to an environment of regular large transactions.

The markets are opening up a little bit on that side, not to a huge extent, but it’s beginning to flow a little bit. There are deals to be had, and buyers are seeing that. It’s a perfect time, especially in a place like New York City or any of the major markets. Pricing has certainly fallen off its highs of a year or a year and a half ago. You saw it at 825 Eighth Ave. Now it’s being said that Deutsche wants to hold out for more money. They thought it was too low, and that’s why the deal didn’t go through there. So we’ll see what happens. Hopefully things are turning around a bit, but one or two months doesn’t really make a trend.

A lot of people are curious and kicking the tires. We haven’t seen a dramatic jump in activity, but a lot of curious people are looking.

On the leasing end, we’re seeing a temporary reprieve. A lot of tenants were running up against lease expirations, they just had to do something. Pricing had fallen enough that it really spurred these tenants to make a decision, whether it’s to stay in place, or relocate somewhere else. But we haven’t really seen any major net positive absorption. It’s still rough out there, and it’s going to remain so through the rest of this year and into early next year. You’re going to see some of this churn because there are a lot of lease expirations, and tenants have to do something.

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